US Coins

Rainbow toned Philadelphia Mint 1879 Morgan dollars are rare

Rainbow toning on an 1879 Morgan dollar from the Philadelphia Mint is virtually unheard of, and this one, graded MS-66 CAC, sold for $23,500 on Oct. 2, 2014.

Image courtesy Legend Rare Coin auctions.

The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve Roach’s Market Analysis column in the Oct. 27 issue.

Few coin series have as broad collector interest as Morgan silver dollars. Like fans of any long-running series with many date and Mint mark combinations, collectors often specialize while others just want a single example for type purposes. One area that experiences huge demand and often crazy auction results can be found in toned Morgan dollars. Especially on high-grade Mint State coins, some Morgan dollars have spectacular rainbow toning and when these coins are offered at auction, it’s anyone’s guess as to what they’ll bring. Here are three from Bob Simpson’s Sunnywood Collection that soared at Legend’s Oct. 2 Regency auction in Las Vegas, Nev:

1879 Morgan dollar, MS-66, CAC, $23,500

Bidders agreed with Legend’s bold assessment that this was “the most amazingly toned gem ’79-P on the planet” when this MS-66 CAC 1879 Morgan dollar brought $23,500. To find beautiful rainbow toning on a Philadelphia Mint 1879 Morgan dollar is rare. The description adds that the consignor paid a huge premium when purchasing this coin “without batting an eyelash” and that the dollar itself was an “unexpected treasure.”

This is a challenging dollar to locate in this grade even without such vibrant color. For example in a Jan. 10, 2014, Heritage auction, an untoned example graded MS-66 by PCGS with a CAC sticker sold for $4,406.25. Although PCGS has recorded 145 submissions that have received MS-66 grades, it lists just four at MS-67, with none finer.

What makes an 1881-S Morgan dollar worth $45,825? (Amazing condition, gorgeous toning)

'Technically superb monster' 1880-S Morgan dollar from the Sunnywood 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' collection: $35,250

Keep up with all news and insights by signing up for our free eNewslettersliking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. We're also on Instagram!

Community Comments